She is not a politician herself, although her status as the wife of the President of the United States has made her one of the most watched (and arguably, most influential) women in the entire world.
Today, Mrs. Obama celebrated a milestone in her own life when she turned 50.
For many adults, especially women, this birthday is often a milestone since it puts them at "middle-age." However, as first lady she has always been active, and continues to spearhead her campaign against childhood obesity. She has earned praise as a role model for African-American women, and has also cemented herself as a modern style icon for American women.
While the role of a first lady is often seen as sort of a "behind the scenes" role, women like Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton, have proven that the role of women in politics goes far beyond just supporting their husbands. Both women are well-educated, and are among the few first ladies to have post-graduate degrees.
Whatever the future of her husband's presidency holds, there is no doubt that Michelle Obama herself has an important place and legacy of her own right within our society.